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Title: The use of objects in the fiction of Virginia Woolf
Author: Talmor, Avital
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1981
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This study investigates the use of objects in the fiction of Virginia Woolf. The study centres on Virginia Woolf's middle and mature works: Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Waves. Basically, the object is conceived of in a material sense, as part of the phenomena, inanimate and natural, outside and other than the self. While the object is distinguished from character, from the human being, it is not viewed in isolation, but in relation to character. This correlation is not arbitrary but derives from a relationship maintained (explicitly or implicitly) by Virginia Woolf herself. It is argued that Virginia Woolf's use of objects is in accord with her literary aims to break away from the sociological tradition of Edwardian fiction and to establish the novel as an art form proper. Thus, instead of employing objects in a naturalistic or literal sense alone, Virginia Woolf uses objects artistically, to effect both formal and thematic patterns. It is a use of signification, not of representation. While admitting to the twofold, formal and thematic use of objects by Virginia Woolf, this study is concerned only with the latter - thematic use. An examination of objects in Virginia Woolf reveals that objects recur in set thematic contexts. These have been assessed as philosophical (epistemological, psychological), social, and existential. Each theme forms an individual chapter and is analysed in respect of each of the three selected books. Finally, objects are established as significantly telling of Virginia Woolf's governing perspective; as revealing her solipsistic and nihilistic outlook.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature